"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Monday, October 22, 2012

"The pattern is simple, but not easy to follow."

Friends and Family,

To put a smile on your face, first I'll tell you about this morning. We went to wash our clothes at a member's house this morning (like every morning). It's with the Mexican Marine who wants to adopt me and take me to Veracruz. Long story short he is a member of just about 6 months, and he has a son that is not a member as well. So, they are a nice family, I am his son, no? So they usually feed us something for breakfast. This time, it was fish head soup. Nothing looks more like an alien than shrimp eyes and random fish scales and who knows what else. I stomached it down to be polite. Once we left, two steps out the door I threw up in my mouth. Thankfully I held it in for about 50 more yards. But don't worry, we got invited to eat with the other Elders that live with us right after. So, it was a blesing? But, to be serious, I really don't like fish. Especially their eyes. P.S. Fish eyes don't taste great, but who am I to judge... :P

So, this real email is to make up for my lack of telling you stories of investigators and converts that I have experienced. So, first, remember back to the baptism of the young boy Derek right after the meeting with President Castañeda. This convert is a direct result of that meeting as well. In that meeting he and his wife showed us a new way to ask for references, simply by talking to people about their friends. New, right? So, we followed this outline once right after. Nothing happened. It was lame.

Fast forward two weeks later. That one time we talked with a member and had her pray to share the gospel with a friend we had picked out together came to us with a response. She brought her cousin's family to General Conference and had a Family Home Evening set up for the next day she invited us to lead. This opened the door. Long story short, Edgar and Palmela are the newest members of Barrio Universidad. Not without its challenges. They're real challenge was the family. And family unity. How can a family be united without being together (physically in the same room). I destroyed this one if I might say myself. It was hard still though, because this couple had started their family really early on in life but still wanted to do everything they could to provide the best for them. For that they sent their 5 year old daughter to Merida to have a better school. The father stopped working on the Oil Platform (the best job there is here) so that he could spend more time with him family. This presented another problem. How was he to provide for his family? For the whole time we knew him he was unemployed, and many times he couldn't make it to our appointments because he was out at interviews and looking for other opportunities. He never graduated from the equivelent of middle school, but he is extremely smart. Knows AutoCAD (Dad, you would be proud). Even more important, he and his wife knew that this was the true church. 

But, two days before his baptism, he got an offer. $1000 (pesos, but still a ton) daily guaranteed if he were to work with the drug runners. He needed to provide for his family, no? Wouldn't you do it? That night he went home conflicted, knowing the decision would affect his baptism. He decided to give it one more day. One. He told no one. Not even his wife. And do you know what happened?

Well, we found him a job. A better job. In an engineering office with room for advancement. The manner could not have been coincidence. No one knew anything, except for the One that knew how to do it right.

So, right now, pray that you can find someone to help share the gospel with. Then do it. If any one of these actions did not come to fruition, what do you think would have happened? The pattern is simple, but not easy to follow.

With love,
Elder Caleb O. Andrews

President Castañeda is Caleb's mission president.

Barrio Universidad = University Ward (a "Ward" is a congregation defined by geographical boundaries)

Elder Andrade and Elder Andrews with Palmela and Edgar?
Sunset in Ciudad del Carmen?

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